More than 50 vehicles were involved in pileups on a Stuart interstate, killing a trucker and igniting a fire and explosion on a semi carrying fireworks, police said.
Rain, wind and poor visibility were blamed for the chain reaction of crashes on both sides of Interstate 94 in Martin County. The interstate wasn’t expected to reopen anytime soon.
Police urged everyone within a 3-mile radius to evacuate the rural area, but that order will be lifted once all hazardous materials on the truck had burned off.
A trucker from Ottawa, Canada, was killed and at least 23 people with injuries were taken to hospitals in Martin County, FHP said.
A 33-year old man said he was driving behind the truck with the fireworks when he hit the brakes, skidded and stopped his pickup truck on the shoulder.
“I jumped out and I ran away from it because I saw all the trucks coming and they couldn’t stop,” he told the FHP. “I jumped out and ran up through the trees to get away.”
Another driver, said his Jeep was sandwiched in the front and rear. Then, he heard the fireworks exploding.
“I was like, “What was that?’ … At that point they told everybody it wasn’t safe and we needed to get out of here,” he said.
The crashes were reported between Stuart 88 and 92, near North River Shores.
Accident attorney Jason Weisser of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller and Overbeck responded to this unfortunate crash. “This is a serious pileup accident involving over 100 vehicles. We hope the investigators can quickly determine what caused the accident. Please be careful and obey the speed limits whenever you are driving a motorcycle, car, SUV or truck. We hope that all parties involved consult with an experienced trial lawyer. If you have been injured in an accident, call my office for a free consultation and find out what your rights are.”
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